According to the Office for National Statistics average earnings for full-time workers rose 1.4 per cent to £26,500 in the year ending April 2012, but inflation was 3.5 per cent in the same period. So real wages actually fell. It also reports that over 3 million workers out of the workforce of nearly 30 million want to work more hours, nearly one million more than four years ago, at the start of the financial collapse.
Two-thirds of these are in part time employment – so a quarter of part-timers want more work. The ONS concludes the cause for this is the economic slump. Many people who have lost full time jobs can only find their way back into employment by accepting part-time work. This probably goes some way towards explaining the recent falls in the unemployment figures. ■